Southern Miss' two-set rally falls short against FAU
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Five times this season Southern Miss has gone to a fifth set, but it was the Florida Atlantic Owls who came out victorious in a Sunday afternoon matchup in Reed Green Coliseum (20-25, 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 10-15).
The Golden Eagles had previously gone five sets with North Texas, South Alabama, Little Rock and Miami.
"I was really proud of the team for coming back, down 0-2 and making it a game," head coach Amanda Berkley said. "Unfortunately that fifth set didn't go as we hoped, but I think we learned that we need to play good defense and pass well because every point matters. We really challenged FAU, and that's a good team."
Catherine Repsher was stellar on both sides of the net, posting 12 kills (.308 hitting percentage) along with a match-high eight blocks. It marked her most kills since having 19 against Oklahoma on Sept. 9.
Southern Miss (15-9, 5-3 C-USA) trailed 13-8 in the fourth set and tied it at 14 on one of Kylie Grandy's 17 kills. The two teams jockeyed back and forth before two attack errors forced an Owl timeout, down 19-17. The lead ultimately opened to 23-19. Three attack errors at match-point allowed Southern Miss to pull within 14-10.
"Kylie is unbelievable. She works so hard. I could tell she was doing whatever it took to get her team a win," Berkley said. "She plays six rotations and has to pass and play defense, so I'm just really proud of her. She's an important part of this team."
The third set was a masterful performance in the face of adversity. The Golden Eagles led 13-6 and FAU (13-7, 4-4 C-USA) never got within four points again after a 17-13 difference.
The Golden Eagles now face Charlotte (Friday at 5 p.m. CT) and North Texas (1 p.m. CT) to begin a four-match road trip.
-Kylie Grandy's 17 kills were her most since the five-set win over North Texas.
-Grandy also has an ace in three consecutive outings.
-Sarah Bell's 14 digs were one off a season-high (15 in C-USA opener versus North Texas).
-Bell had 53 assists, her 20th time crossing the 50-mark. It was her most since having 75 in the North Texas victory.
-Natalie Druhan had 20 digs, her most since having 27 against UNT this year.